Friday, December 11, 2009

Ford Fiesta: Farewell

Earlier this month, Brad and I went to Los Angeles for the official U.S. unveiling of the Ford Fiesta at the LA Auto Show. Ford flew a bunch of us agents for a two-day event, which included a special concert and awards ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.

Brad and I won Best Adventure Video for Gator Wrastlin' mission!

While at the Palladium, we happened to bump into a social media acquaintance, Jeff Turner, who shot this video:

I wrote about the LA Auto Show experience over at Miami New Times, so I'm going to take a more personal tack here. But suffice it to say, Ford's campaign was absolutely brilliant. I'm not a marketing expert and I can't predict if it's going to sell cars, but the campaign generated millions of impressions in social media networks.

And besides, it was just plain fun. I was amazed at the amount of creativity and talent shared among all the agents in the project.

Brad and I returned the car to a local Ford dealer in South Dade a day before we went to LA. It didn't dawn on me how much I would miss the car until I got back to Miami.

I was never really into cars, but now I have much more of an appreciation for the art of motor vehicles and driving. My own car, a '98 Toyota Corolla, feels like a golf cart compared to the Fiesta. There's something about the power of the engine, the steering and the manual transmission that make a whole world of difference when driving. I keep reaching for the stick shift and now that it's not there, I feel like I'm in limbo!

Driving a great car in manual transmission is like taking the lead in a tango. I felt like the car was my partner and I was guiding her every move; she responded to me beautifully. The car felt like an extension of me. It was powerful. With my Toyota, the driving experience is very passive and blah. I guess I did become very passionate about driving after all!

(Of course, I'm talking about the Ford Fiesta here, but I'm sure this is true of any quality car out there. Being a girly girl, I seriously used to think all driving experiences were the same. So not true!)

I really enjoyed being part of this project and bringing some great content here to Sex and the Beach. I had the chance to do some hyper-local storytelling that I probably would've never done: we captured Memorial Day, featuring Jimbo's and interviewing a veteran on Ocean Drive; we shot a parody of Scarface, including locations El Exquisito Restaurant, Maximo Gomez Domino Park and Elian Gonzalez's house; we geocached in South Miami, Coral Gables and Pinecrest, including the historic cemetery on Erwin Road; we helped build a house in Liberty City with Habitat for Humanity; we checked out the local graffiti scene with artist Atomic; we towed the car on a bike down Flagler street; and, finally, of course, we wrestled an alligator in Orlando.

I also got to know Brad better and work with him as part of a creative team. The Ford Fiesta may be out of our lives now, but I doubt this is the last time we're going to collaborate on some cool projects together.

The Fiesta project was also personally rewarding for me since I used to suffer from agoraphobia and had a fear of driving. It's amazing to me that I was able to conquer that condition and end up driving a car -- a stick shift no less -- all over local expressways! I even drove most of the way to Orlando and back when we went on our Gatorland mission.

When I was caught up in the agoraphobia, I never in a million years would've dreamed about driving so much and enjoying it so. But while I had the Fiesta, I would drive the car every day, even if I didn't have to go anywhere. It was a thrill to go down beautiful Old Cutler Road just for the heck of it.

I hope that I can be an example to others who are suffering from panic attacks. If I could get over it, so can you. For me, there was quite a bit of serendipity involving the Ford Fiesta project; it was no mere coincidence. Driving like this was the culmination and proof positive that you can turn your life around from such a crippling condition.

Thank you Brad and Ford -- it was a great ride!


SexualFantasy said...

good for you girlie!!! I have experience agoraphobia before, and you should be proud of yourself for moving on and living and loving life!

pamelala said...

I've enjoyed reading these!! THanks for the @hiddenflorida suggestion too! Will follow!

SFlaGuy said...

I would never have guessed you would have suffered such an affliction. I bet you could say the same for me. Now look what I'm doing and all the new friends I've made. The best way for me to overcome is to keep stretching my limits. I am really enjoying following you doing the same.